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Reviews: Vampire Wars miniatures line
by Joe G. Kushner

Master Vampire figure At first, it looked like 3rd edition D&D put a couple nails in the Ravenloft coffin. After all, the boys at Wizards of the Coast were content to let new rpg material come forth only from the fine web site, The Kargatane (the official Ravenloft site), and Ral Partha had lost the license to do figures for the game. What's a player to do? The 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons almost requires miniatures for game play with its tactical side.

Not to fear on either count. For the RPG, White Wolf is supporting it with new and updated Ravenloft books. If the support continues in the same vein as the limited edition, players and GMs will have to nothing to fear. For the miniatures,though they're not official or licensed, the Vampire Wars miniatures line by Old Glory Miniatures should fit the bill for any gothic horror fan. While these figures are created to support the Vampire Wars miniatures game, they are perfect for other gothic encounters.

When considering the quality of the miniatures, there's good news and bad. The good news is that the figures are very crisp and clean with a minimum amount of flash or mold lines that need to be trimmed. In the three sets I have purchased, I've had no problems. Then again, these are new figures; as the molds are used more and more, this might become an issue. Even with the excellent Celtos figures by i-Kore, some of the molds have already started to lose detail on the figures. The bad news is that the bases, while stable for the most part, don't lend themselves to play very well. I recommend gluing them onto bases (square or round) for stability and to insure that they are compatible with the figures used in D&D or other games.

For pricing, the news is mostly good. For human packs, there are generally four figures per package and each package runs at $6.00. There are non-human packs as well, like Dog by Blows and Cat by Blows, crossbreeds of animal and man, creatures from the game's Island of Dr. Mereaux. Do I sense a spoof? These creatures come three to a pack for the same price of $6.00. There are exceptions to this excellent pricing, though. Much like Warhammer, the unique or special characters are packaged by themselves for a price of $6.00. In this case, there is Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, Loup Garou, the Librarian, and the Brotherhood Grand Master. Some of the figures are a little larger then the standard ones, but the Librarian and the Grand Master are standard sized, making the pricing on these figures seem very high in contrast to the rest of the line.

The figures are broken up into nine different groups. There are gypsies, mobs, asylum escapees, vampire hunters, vampires, werewolves, the animal men, Dr. Frankenstein's failed experiments (four creatures for $8.00), and scenery. The scenery includes headstones and a laboratory among other sets. One of the nice things about the vampire hunters is that the crafters have pulled the selection from around the world. There are American vampire hunters, European ones, Van Helsing's group, Hungarian, and Zendarian. There are also werewolf hunters, Wolfen Jager and Wolfen Jager Houndmasters. The Frankenstein Monster and the failed experiments make for great flesh golems.

Overall, these figures are well worth the asking price. They are perfect not only for a game in the Ravenloft setting, but adaptable to the Call of Cthulhu game as well.


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